Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

So…I made a fall bucket list this year and we have so far completed all but one of the items.  We have been doing fun family activities every weekend {well except for two weekends we were sick} and it has just been a blast.  We have been having the best fall EVER – there was a period of about 18 months of Luke’s life where he struggled pretty bad with anxiety and social situations and events were so stressful for us they weren’t even worth it.  But we’ve come out on the other side and now doing stuff with our boy is so, so fun.  And having a baby girl to share it all with now, too?  Amazing. :)

I don’t have the energy right now to post our fall photos for you yet, but I did want to stop and share one of my new favorite breakfast recipes with you.  Chocolate + pumpkin = HELLO in my world. 

I’ve adapted this recipe from a recipe I found online.  My version is the way I personally make it {a little bit cleaner}.  If you’re more of an I’d-rather-die-than-eat-whole-wheat-flour kind of person, you’ll probably be more interested in the original recipe found here from Tastes Better from Scratch. 

But my version has chocolate. 

I’m just sayin’.  ;)


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Chocolate Chunk Pumpkin Spice Pancakes

Wet Ingredients:

1 1/2 C milk
1 C pumpkin puree
2 flax eggs {2 T flax and 6 T warm water}
2 T oil
2 T white vinegar

Dry Ingredients:

2 C white whole wheat flour
3 T brown sugar {unpacked is fine}
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt


Chocolate chunks {I chopped pieces off of a dark chocolate bar I had in the house – but honestly semi-sweet chocolate chips works fine, too.}


Combine wet ingredients and allow to sit {the vinegar is basically making the milk into buttermilk so you want it to sit and “sour” for a few minutes.}

Combine dry ingredients and stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine – lumps are good in pancake recipes! You can either add your chocolate chunks now so that the entire batter has the chips in it OR drop the chunks of chocolate onto the pancakes after you pour the batter on the griddle.  This is what I typically do, since Chris doesn’t like chocolate in pancakes {I KNOW} and that way we can do half-and-half.  

Heat an oiled griddle/skillet over medium high heat.  Pour about 1/4 C of the batter for each pancake {these babies are thick so you won’t want to make them huge or they’ll never cook in the middle}.  Brown on both sides and serve with butter or syrup or whatever makes you happy. :)

Makes approximately 12 pancakes {but they’re thick!}

Enjoy!  I just know you will love them!



Okay and here’s one photo for you – this is Livi last weekend at the pumpkin patch.  My girl was soooooooooooooo happy to be there.  :)



Monday, October 7, 2013

Croup and Thrifting {aka Miscellany Monday}

Our week started out like this: last Sunday at church I noticed Luke coughing a bit.  He got progressively worse over the day and night {Sunday night being the worst}, and stayed home from school Monday and Tuesday.  By Wednesday he was well enough to go to school, though {this child has a super immune system, I swear}.  But by that time, I had a slight cold from being coughed at in my face over the previous 3 days.  {oh, motherhood!}  Whatever I had, Chris also got and came down with.  Simultaneously, Olivia, who had been teething already and had a runny nose, got a legit cold that turned into croup quickly. 


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Friday saw us at the doctor’s office with a diagnosis of croup and a prescription for two steroids.  As of right now {Sunday afternoon when I type this}, she is napping and almost 100% – not quite there yet, but close.  The steroids worked super fast to open up her airways and stop that scary barking cough.  She still has the residues of a cold, and she’s not quite as happy as normal, but we’re getting there.  The steroid she’s on is intense and gives her a lot of trouble sleeping {I was on it when I had shingles and it gave me crazy nightmares} so I’ll be SO happy when she can take her last dose tomorrow!

I posted on Facebook that when my kids get sick like this I truly thank God for the day and age we live where childhood illnesses like this – even big time ones like congenital heart conditions – are not death sentences for my kids.  They are treatable and fixable.  I am sooooo grateful for that!


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Anyway, HOW does this tie in with thrifting?!  lol  By Friday night Luke was going bananas because with both parents sick most of the week {I was better by then – moms don’t really get to get sick, right?!} and Olivia needing waaaay more than her normal care, he was really needing some alone time.  So we went out Friday and then again Saturday, just the two of us, to do some errands and also hit up a church sale, a yard sale, and a local consignment store that I’d never visited before.

I don’t know how to say this without sounding weird, but sometimes when it’s just the two of us, my heart aches a little.  I miss giving all my time and attention to Luke.  I love Olivia so much she makes my heart hurt but I simultaneously sometimes long for the days when it was just me and my little buddy.  I don’t know how to word this without sounding like I wish she wasn’t here, because I love that girl more than life itself and she is totally the sunshine of my life.  So hopefully this makes sense.  Basically, it did us both good to be alone together. :)


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And we had a GREAT time!  Thankfully my little buddy loves going to yard sales with me {he always gets a 25 or 50-cent toy or book, so of course he loves it.  lol}. 

On Friday night we hit up a church sale with some 25 cent books {I am a total book nerd and I LOVE seasonal children’s books!  Allllllmost as much as I love decorating for the season. ;) }

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I also scored a gingham Children’s Place shirt for Luke for next year {pumpkin patch photo!} and a set of jammies for this year {$2 for all 3 pieces.}  The white plate was 50 cents to add to my white plate collection {you never know when you’ll accidentally drop one!} and Luke’s treat was a Mater car that he is obsessed with. 

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On Saturday after Luke’s haircut we stopped at a {new to me} kids’ and women’s consignment store.  I found a few things for myself, including a $6 Vera ID case that I am in love with.  I have wanted one for years and I seriously *never* splurge on myself.  This was a great price I couldn’t pass up and it will be perfect for yard sales so I can just clip it to my keys!  Yay!

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This store was also having a 25 cent book sale so we stocked up on some more!  Seriously.  I am such a sucker for kids’ books!

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Lastly, we went to a yard sale.  Do you ever go to a yard sale and think, “Darn it, I should have been here when they opened!”  These people had adorable stuff and SO CHEAP.  By the time I got there it was about 1:30 pm and the husband told me they’d had literally hundreds of people stop by.  They live on a very busy main road so I totally believe it!  I can just tell by what they had left that I would have reallllly spent a lot of money at 9 am.  lol

I love when I find organizational things at yard sales!  You can always find a place for them around the house. 

Kitchenaid drawer organizers – 25 cents for the 3 piece set!

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Necklace was 50 cents, cosmetic bags were 50 cents for both, and scarf was 50 cents too. 

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Small basket 25 cents,  large was $1 and Tupperware for the bath {to rinse the kids’ hair} was also 25.   Hooks and belt hanger were 25 cents each too. 


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We stayed home from church this morning, obviously, so we’ve just had a nice relaxing day as a family.  My husband let me sleep in, which was SO needed, and then he took a nap, and then I made one of our favorites, Dirty Rice {via Southern Plate}, and my parents stopped by for lunch after their church got out. 

It’s a cloudy fall afternoon here and I’m just sipping my pumpkin spice coffee as I sit and type.  I have homemade bread crumbs in the oven and I have some frozen bananas thawing on the counter to make banana chocolate chip muffins with a bit later.  It’s been so nice to finally have a day where we’re not all feeling like we got beat up and to just be here and relax. 

Here’s to a great, healthy week!

Joining in with Carissa today!

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Favorite Links and Recipes {What I’m Loving Lately}

I thought that today I’d share some of my favorite recipes and web links that I’ve either a} found to be delicious,  b} found to be encouraging,  or c} found to be delicious AND encouraging.  haha ;)



{1} Chicken and Dumplings via Take Them a Meal

Easy Chicken n Dumplins!

{photo via Take Them a Meal}

Last night I made chicken and dumplings for the first time EVER in my life.  I know, can you believe it?  I have no idea why I waited so long.  Oh my gosh, pure comfort food!  I followed this easy recipe from Janelle who blogs at Comfy in the Kitchen.  The only thing I did differently was to use my own homemade broth {because I already had it in my freezer} and cook my own chicken {basically I just boiled some chicken breasts until cooked, then shredded it.}  Highly recommend!  Mmmmm!


{2} Pumpkin Pie Syrup via Annie’s Eats

DIY pumpkin spice latte SYRUP

         {photo via Annie’s Eats}


THIS. SYRUP. IS. AMAZING.  You guys, seriously?  SERIOUSLY.  I’ve made several versions of pumpkin-pie “lattes” before and they always came out gritty and kinda gross, to be honest.  This one has you cook the ingredients together and then strain then (I did it twice and used my hand-held fine-mesh strainer.)  It is FAAAAAAAAAAAAAABULOUS {imagine Oprah saying that when she announces her Favorite Things show.  lol}  I’ve just been using it in my coffee with some milk…you could make it into a latte if you wanted to but you can also just add it to regular coffee!  So, so, sooooo good. 

You’re welcome in advance.  :)


{3} Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza via Kathy’s Kitchen

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I had never thought to do this before, but it is so clever.  It made a delicious deep-dish pizza and it was a nice change {a nice change? what am I, 65?! lol} from regular pizza on a pizza pan.  Plus I love finding any and all excuses to use my cast-iron. :) We hardly ever buy pepperoni anymore (like maybe once a year?) but when we do I like to buy the Applegate farms version. 



{4} Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins via Beneath My Heart


pumpkin choc chip muffins

{photo via Beneath My Heart}

I don’t know about you guys, but every pumpkin recipe I’ve ever tried comes out super oily and soggy the next day.  This one DOESN’T.  Winner!  I think it might be the fact that there’s butter instead of oil in it.  Regardless, it’s delish.  {FYI, the recipe makes 2 dozen so half it if you only need 12.}



{5} Being Faithful in the Little Things by Kelly’s Korner

I don’t know why, but I literally had tears streaming down my face as I read this today.  Maybe it’s the fact that Luke was sick this week and now Livi is, and there has been a LOT of sleepless nights, but it just really spoke to my heart today.  Being faithful in the little things does matter to God.  I hope you can read it and be encouraged!



{6} Women Living Well Conference – Live Webcasts on Women Living Well

Several bloggers I read came together in August to hold a “Women Living Well” conference in Ohio.  They’re now putting up an hour’s worth of the conference every Thursday night at 9:00 for the next several weeks.  I watched last week and was really encouraged and I’m really looking forward to tonight’s!  It’s all about encouraging women to be great wives, mothers, and Christians.  If you can’t watch tonight, they’ll have it up until 9:00 Friday night if you need to maybe watch during your kiddos’ naptimes tomorrow afternoon. :)

Okay, I think that’s it!  Have you ever tried any of these recipes, by any chance?  Also, am I the only person to never make chicken and dumplings before?! :)


I think you should know that I originally titled this post “What I’m Loving Wednesday” intending to link up with a blog party…and I only just realized 2 seconds ago that today is THURDSAY!  hahahaha!  Oh well, one day closer to the weekend, right?!  I told you I didn’t get a lot of sleep this week! :)